Fish harvests surge 23pc, thanks to poaching controls

Business Reporter ZIMBABWE’S fish harvests surged by 23 percent in 2023, reaching a total of 33 906 tonnes. This increase is attributed to stricter controls on poaching and the positive influence of the Presidential Community Fisheries Scheme. The growth is a reversal of a multi-year decline, with production rising in the 2022/2023 season, according to […]

May 19, 2024 - 09:43
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Fish harvests surge 23pc, thanks to poaching controls

Business Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S fish harvests surged by 23 percent in 2023, reaching a total of 33 906 tonnes.

This increase is attributed to stricter controls on poaching and the positive influence of the Presidential Community Fisheries Scheme.

The growth is a reversal of a multi-year decline, with production rising in the 2022/2023 season, according to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development’s Second-Round Crops, Livestock and Fisheries Assessment.

“The decline has been attributed to the combined effects of overfishing, illegal unreported and unregulated fishing, and climate change,” says the report.

“In addition, the decline in annual fish production in Zimbabwe can be associated with the scaling down of aquaculture activities by one major player in the sub-sector due to viability challenges.”

Kapenta harvests increased by 3,7 percent from 5 950 tonnes in 2021/2022 to 6 200 tonnes in 2022/2023.

Nevertheless, kapenta captured from Kariba Dam has been on a decline, from a peak harvest of 9 473 tonnes in 2018/2019 to 6 200 tonnes in the 2022/2023 season.

Aquaculture production of Nile tilapia peaked in 2015/2016 at 10 510 tonnes and declined to 4 949 tonnes, but increased by 35 percent in 2022/2023 due to the promotion of pond culture.

According to the ministry,
this increase in Nile tilapia output was seen especially under the Presidential Community Fisheries Scheme.

Pond area increased from 154,9 hectares in the 2021/2022 season to 175,8 hectares in the 2022/2023 season.

“One large-scale producer, who accounts for over 90 percent of all farmed tilapia in the country, has seen annual decline due to high feed costs-induced viability problems. There is a need to encourage, promote and support cage aquaculture in all the 10 600 dams across the country,” the report reads.

The Presidential Community Fisheries Scheme targets 98 800 fish ponds, each with 2 000 fish, from 197,6 million fingerlings, across 35 000 village business units, 4 800 youth business units and 9 600 strategic business units.

“Some 59 dams in seven provinces were stocked with 465 000 fingerlings. Additionally, 82 business units were stocked with 139 500 fingerlings out of the targeted

14 760 ponds and 14,52 million fingerlings,” the ministry added.

Refurbishment and construction of five decentralised fingerling production centres at Henderson in Mashonaland Central, Makoholi in Masvingo, Matopos in Matabeleland South, Chipinge in Manicaland and Bubi-Lupane in Matabeleland North have the potential to provide an additional production capacity of 12,65 percent, complementing private sector capacity.

In 2020, the Government approved the Livestock Recovery and Growth Plan aimed at putting interventions to address constraints in the livestock sector.

This also laid the foundation for the sector to assume its prominent role in transforming rural livelihoods and providing raw materials for local companies.

The livestock sector encompasses cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, bees, crocodiles, fish, et cetera.

It is expected to grow to US$3,4 billion by 2025.

 

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David Lee Munemo David Lee Munemo is a rising Zimbabwean journalist with a passion for making complex news discoveries accessible to the public. Driven by a belief in the importance of information communication, David's work tackles a variety of news fields, from groundbreaking entertainment research to the latest political news.